Physical education is a degree requirement.

The physical education program concentrates on lifetime sports and activities, so that all students leave Middlebury College with exposure to sports or recreational activities in which they have developed a degree of skill and interest, which will be an asset to them in later years. Each course carries one unit of physical education credit.


Before graduation, students must complete two courses to receive the required two credits. Students are encouraged to complete the credits by the end of their fourth academic semester at Middlebury (excluding winter term). In the case of transfer students, students are encouraged to complete the requirement by the end of their second semester at Middlebury. Students who have not completed their requirements will not be eligible to graduate.

Team Participation

Students may use participation on varsity intercollegiate teams as a way of satisfying the physical education requirement. The requirement will be fulfilled if a student participates in two seasons of varsity competition. Two-sport athletes may also satisfy both physical education credits through participation on two different varsity intercollegiate teams. 

The Physical Education Department also recognizes participation in five club sports. The five club sports that can receive a physical education credit are rugby, crew, water polo, sailing and equestrian, which have a coach on-site for practices and games. In order to receive a physical education credit, students must participate in one full season of crew, rugby, water polo, sailing or equestrian. Each of these club sports will equal one physical education credit per season.

Additional Courses

Students who wish to elect additional courses beyond those required for graduation may register with the department for the appropriate season and be scheduled for classes on a space-available basis. Some of the courses and activities follow:

  • Certification Courses (textbook and related fee applicable): Lifeguard Training, and First Aid/CPR.
  • Fee Classes: alpine skiing, martial arts, massage, meditation, horseback riding, Nordic skiing, spinning, and yoga. Instructors outside of the College generally teach these courses. The fees and times are available during Banner web registration.
  • Equipment Sports (students provide equipment): tennis.
  • More Equipment Sports (department provides equipment): archery, badminton, golf, and squash.
  • Conditioning Courses: Resistance training, strength training, and swim for conditioning. 
  • Dance Courses (as available): varying levels of ballet, jazz, and modern dance (DANC 0160, DANC 0161, DANC 0162, DANC 0260, DANC 0261, DANC 0276, DANC 0360, DANC 0361, DANC 0380, DANC 0381).

Students may also earn PE credits through programs offered by Student Activities and The Knoll. Approximately 75 courses are scheduled over five sessions each academic year.

The department schedules two seasons of instructional courses in the fall and spring terms and one season in the winter term. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis and is open to students electing courses on a space-available basis. Students unaware of their physical education record should check with the Registrar’s Office to ensure completion of their program prior to graduation. Applications for transfer credit must be made in advance, following college procedure for academic credit transfer. The Registrar’s Office processes credits from transcripts for students transferring to Middlebury.

Medical Waivers

All requests for medical waivers must come from the student’s physician. Injuries and illnesses suffered on campus will be considered as exceptions to the previous statement and will be handled by the College health center.

Upcoming Academic Year Dates (2022-23)

  • Fall I: September 19 - October 20
  • Fall II: October 24 - December 1
  • Winter Term: January 9 – February 2
  • Spring I: February 13 - March 16
  • Spring II: April 3 - May 5